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Red Bulls trialing Brazilian midfielder, familiar face

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According to Big Apple Soccer Diego Souza Xavier and Damien Perrinelle have joined the team in training.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Red Bulls need some creativity in midfield and some assurance along the back line.

And that's what they've brought into camp, with Brazilian midfielder Diego Sousa Xavier and French center back Damien Perrinelle joining the team on a trial.

Xavier is a 21-year-old attacking midfielder who appears to have spent time in the youth systems of Palmeiras and Sao Paolo before going professional with Oeste and Uniao Barbarense. According to Big Apple Soccer, he's made appearances with Brazil's U-20 side and recently received a look from Barueri, a lower league club.

There's plenty of video on the young player, and it looks like he's got some technical ability and isn't shy on taking a shot.


The first bit is promising, with opponents trying to haul him down by his shoulders, before getting off a rocket to beat the keeper. There are a few other instances of that, which bodes well for the youngster, as well as some examples of great vision and the ability to get a shot or a pass off in short order.

In this, more recent, longer tape, you see a bit more of his defensive work and quickness. Watching it, you can almost imagine him breaking Lloyd Sam down the sideline.


But you take highlight reels -- even ones pushing 20 minutes -- with a grain of salt, they're designed to make him look good, after all. What's concerning is there could be an air of Rafinha to Xavier. Rafinha, famous for Facebook-ing his way onto an Austrian national youth team, couldn't cope with the physicality of the American game when he joined the team last year. And he was 5'10", 155 pounds.

Xavier is much shorter, at 5'6", but considerably stouter, weighing in at 149 pounds, according to Sambafoot. And the above video show he's can do well with physical play.

As for the other trialist, if Perrinelle rings a bell, it's because he's been around the team, and MLS, before. The 30-year-old trialed with the team last year -- albeit without the full first team -- and is a bit of an MLS fetishist, calling a move stateside "objective number one." He, according to MLSsoccer.com, worked to set up a showcase of French talent for MLS scouts.

Perrinelle spent most of his career in Ligue 2, but helped US Boulogne earn promotion to Ligue 1 in 2009. According to Transfermarkt, he's under contract with FC Istres until 2015.